High School Sports

What area schools best tie education, athletics? A recent study sought to find out

Waccamaw’s Reed Edwards hurls a pitch toward home plate during a game this past baseball season.
Waccamaw’s Reed Edwards hurls a pitch toward home plate during a game this past baseball season. jblackmon@thesunnews.com

What schools in South Carolina — and nationally, for that matter — best tie the need for a quality education with ample opportunity to succeed athletically?

Those at Niche.com recently took their best shot at answering the question, using a formula to rank the best public high schools for athletes across the nation.

According to the website, its primary purpose is to help families discover the schools and neighborhoods right for them. This particular study is part of an annual series on education.

Rankings for this particular study were based on student and parent reviews of athletics, student participation in athletics, the number of sports offered at the school and school expenses.

Out of the scores compiled for schools located in the Palmetto State, eight Grand Strand places of learning were among the top 100 in South Carolina best for athletes.

Waccamaw was ranked highest of all local schools, coming in at No. 20. Thirteen spots down the list was Carvers Bay, coming in at No. 33.

Murrells Inlet-based St. James was listed at No. 56, with Georgetown being found at No. 66.

Conway made its appearance on the list at No. 78, with Aynor ranked 83rd. North Myrtle Beach and Carolina Forest were the final area schools listed in the study, coming in at Nos. 94 and 99, respectively.

Columbia-area schools Dutch Fork, Spring Valley and Chapin swept the top three spots in the study’s rankings. South Pointe (Rock Hill) and Spartanburg round out the top five.

On their heels on the list are Byrnes, Wando, Academic Magnet, Irmo and River Bluff.

No school from the Palmetto State was listed among the best 100 nationally for athletes.

Adlai Stevenson (Lincolnshire, Ill.) was ranked No. 1 among schools nationwide, with two other Illinois — Glenbrook South and Glenbrook North — coming in second and third. Pasack Valley (Hillsdale, N.J.) and Garden City (N.Y.) round out the top five.

Joe L. Hughes II: 843-444-1702, @JoeLHughesII

Niche.com rankings

Best high schools for athletes in S.C.

1. Dutch Fork

2. Spring Valley

3. Chapin

4. South Pointe

5. Spartanburg

6. Byrnes

7. Wando

8. Academic Magnet

9. Irmo

10. River Bluff

Notable area schools: Waccamaw (No. 20), Carvers Bay (No. 33), St. James (No. 56), Georgetown (No. 66), Conway (No. 78), Aynor (No. 83), North Myrtle Beach (No. 94), Carolina Forest (No. 99)